So I was, for the first time ever, going to office at the absurdly early time of 11.30 a.m. And after browsing through my mandatory train reading - Mumbai Mirror and DNA - I was sitting quietly and thinking of cheese pizza, when the lady seated opposite me tapped my knee and said,
"Could I see your paper?"
Thinking that this was a middle-aged, expensively dressed woman who probably wanted to see a broadsheet at that time of the morning, I handed her the DNA. She said,
"Is there something on Kareena in there?"
I silently handed her the Mumbai Mirror, which carried back-to-back 'news' items on the Kapoor woman, wondering all the while...There's Modi on the front page of MM...DNA's got a fair share of political and crime reporting...both papers are actually full of newsy stuff today, something that both papers are not in the habit of doing...and she wants to read Kareena Kapoor?
Once she was done devouring both the pages, which carried news of such national importance as a) Both Kapoor sisters have been offered a film together but they haven't selected a script yet, and b) Kareena is finally cyber-savvy after Saif Ali Khan gifted her a laptop (!), I asked her, "Are you a Kareena fan, then?"
She smiled and said, "Not much, but I like to look at her pictures. She's lost so much weight, na? And I actually liked her in her newest movie. I really think she did a good job by splitting with that good-for-nothing bugger, that Shahid...see Saif, he matches her personality, na?"
I asked her what she did, thinking in my stereotypical way that this woman must be a) A bored housewife, or b) Just bored in general. Conceive my emotion when she said, "I'm a professor of political science at ___ College." Continue conceiving my emotion when she calmly informed me that she only picks up papers for the entertainment news. "The other news is so depressing, ya," she chuckled. "Who wants to read that?"
So after all the maara-mari we idiots are doing here about delivering news that is interesting to the reader and factually accurate, there are actually some people who don't want to read it. After trawling through pages of reports to understand what the IAEA fuss is about, what our cities have to show for their pollution-controlling efforts and other such items of general interest that concern us all, there are educated subscribers for whom the front page of the newspaper begins with the entertainment section.
My story for the day is to find out if Kareena has learnt how to download wallpapers yet, and if her current screensaver has pics of Saif (though only somebody with the brains of a retarded, stillborn monkey would actually do that). If that's what some of my public wants, okay, they'll get it.
Moral of the story: The current age of internet illiteracy is pegged at somewhere about 55 years worldwide. Of these, about 40 per cent do not read books, nor do they play games. Has Kareena considered being Brand Ambassador of the 'I Don't Do Anything Useful And I'm Just A Jackass' Contingent? I'm sure you'd read that.